Health Ministry steps up monitoring at entry points following Singapore Zika case
PETALING JAYA: The Health Ministry has increased monitoring at the two main entry points to Johor following reports of a confirmed Zika case in Singapore.
In a statement on Sunday, Health director general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said reports had stated that a 47-year-old Malaysian woman had been diagnosed with the deadly virus.
He added that the Singapore Health Ministry and the country’s National Environment Agency had stated that the patient, who lives in Aljunied Crescent, had not visited any of the countries affected by the virus.
“Singapore has confirmed that the virus was locally contracted as the woman had not visited any of the affected countries,” he said.
Dr Noor Hisham said three other suspected Zika cases were found in the same area.
“We are in close contact with the Singapore Health Ministry to better understand this situation and get updated information on the local spread of the virus. This is to ensure that all prevention and containment methods can be carried out,” he said.
He pointed out that Malaysia was vulnerable to the infection because Aedes mosquitoes could carry the virus.
“Therefore, we have increased the monitoring and have placed paramedics at the two main entrances to ensure that the necessary measures can be carried out on visitors who show signs of being infected by the Zika virus,” he said.
He added that the ministry has this year scanned over two million visitors entering Malaysia from countries affected by Zika, and found no cases of infection.
“Visitors from the affected countries were also given a Health Alert Card as a precautionary measure.
“We have also examined over 784 blood samples of those showing an active possibility of the infection and found that the results were all negative for the virus,” he said.
Dr Noor Hisham further urged health practitioners who come across possible signs of the virus to report them immediately, adding that the general public should also be vigilant.